Living in Maria's house with her husband and her little daughter was always cordial and pleasant. I had already lived with them in their first home and knew them very well. When I came back from Madrid, they had just finished moving into the house they bought in Beverlly Hills. I remember María giving me orders, as always, warning me that I could not lose the key under any circumstances because the copy cost $ 500. The one who did most of the housework was her husband. An American boy history teacher and as we say in Spain, a good guy. The screams that María would hit him when she was not satisfied with something, which was almost all the time, at first made me feel uncomfortable, and I even felt sorry for him, because She wouldn't even let him speak or defend himself. But little by little I understood everything.
I liked being in Maria's dressing room choosing the clothes she would wear for her next trip to Spain. She had Banana Republic bags full of clothes that hadn't been tried on yet, and she was telling me what she would wear to her meetings. I learned a lot from Maria, what to do and what not to do. I like women older than me, strong and powerful. As I also bought in Banana Republic, in my case almost always On Sale, we understood each other at the first time, BUT! María was not expecting it and she immediately grew the envious vein of the purebred Spanish woman. Whenever I talk about her, I remember the day the limousine was waiting for me at the door to pick up Diego EL Cigala and take him to dinner, when she said to me while leaving: —You're marking your entire ass, do you know that right? It was as if a jealous man were saying it and suddenly all the joy that was in my body was cut off and for a moment I wanted to go change. It was like a shot, María had a reputation in the culture office for being a Director with a very bad temper. But I called Sofía, who of course was late and was in her house on the beach in Santa Monica, divine , and waiting for the limousine, and surely with her little finger raised while she refreshed herself with a Mimosa telling me; —Monty, I've seen that suit, is that super elegant and romantic pale pink one of that famous Armenian designer, right? Don't ever take it off, it looks spectacularly perfect on you, you have the most amazing hard and elegant ass I've ever seen. A dress from a haute couture designer, long, with straps, with the whole back in the air, with a gathering at the back that marks everything and that only you can wear, take advantage now that you can. And don't listen to her, that's called Envy.
It was time to visit the new Consul of Spain, Mr. Inocencio Arias. María presented it to me at the dinner for the presentation of his book "Confessions of a Diplomat" and that I have dedicated. A quite controversial book that reveals the truth that is hidden between boxes, in the United Nations.
María , at dinner, explained it to me so that I would understand it quickly; —Since the PSOE won, Mr. Inocencio Arias leaves the rank of Ambassador in NY City and your favorite consul, Mr. Jose Luis Dicenta Ballester, is promoted to Ambassador in Rome. Immediately my little head began to plan a trip to Rome, where my first cousin lived, to meet again with the Ambassador. I was very sorry that he left LA, and just when he had separated from the German model and I would have a free field. That diplomat helped me and opened many doors for me. A little short, but very interesting, and his long gray hair as if he were Italian, which I liked the most.
Being in front of the former President of the Association of Ambassadors of the ONU and the World Committee against Terrorism in Iraq, was a bit imposing. But when I walked in and saw him in his bubblegum pink bow tie and blue Ralph Lauren shirt, I relaxed and sat on the brown leather 4-seater sofa watching the sun come in through the huge windows overlooking Wilshire Blvd. I recounted as if it were a movie, my two successful years in Los Angeles. And to finish, I would sneakily let him drop that when they renewed the guest list, to make sure that my name, Esther Ponce, was still there.
I already knew all the "Merecumbe" that were hatched in the offices of Culture, Tourism, Cervantes Institute, the last one , not even had its own entity and was only an office. The state officials who envied each other, the consul's secretary, thank goodness she was charming to me. However I had to be careful the way nobody magically remove you from the list. I don't know if it was my sincerity that he liked the most , but he replied that I not only would continue on the list of relevant guests, but that he called his secretary and told her that at the end of the meeting, she would dedicate the necessary time to specify a date , because he was going to give a party in my honor, for being the first Spanish artist to get into the programming of a very Important North American cultural TV network , my show “Flamenco Dreams”. The secretary, as if she were my aunt, left looking at me with a knowing and happy face.
Mr Arias , 30 years older than me, returned to the conversation saying; - Let's see, miss, I was struck by the part in which the bailaor Joaquin Cortes asks you who you had slept with to get such recognition on American TV, since not even he, being famous, could program the DVD of his show filmed in London ...
—Of course I didn't need to sleep with anyone, I told him. In LA, unlike in Spain, if you are tenacious, a fighter and you show it, the work pays off and the doors open for you, in Spain they close them and if they can step on you, the better. The Consul knew perfectly well that in addition to my successes, being a polyglot differentiated me from the rest of the flamenco dancers who normally do not have much general knowledge.
María was traveling that day and it was Preston, her husband, who would take me to the event in his familiar white Mercedes smelling of new. Before we went to a florist to buy a bouquet of roses for the Consul's wife.
Paul arrived first at the Consul's residence, to make sure that nothing was missing and super proud of his feat. Although the product was good, Paul listened to me to put aside the Latin American TV networks such as Univisión and Telemundo, which is where they always put the Spanish in the hood, and to aim higher by offering it to the North American networks.
At the entrance of the residence and as the favorite place of all the guests for the photocall, you were greeted by two life-size statues of Maria Angustia Sarmiento and Isabel de Velasco, The biggest Las Meninas de Velazquez I had ever seen.
The Consul's wife congratulated me and asked me to accompany her to put the bouquet of roses in water. She taught me to remove all the leaves from the roses, leaving the stem only with the thorns and put them in a beautiful transparent glass vase. It was fantastic to be in the place of the honoree, everyone came up, praised me and asked me how much time was left for the live broadcast of “Flamenco Dreams” on PBS.
Miles Copeland, who did not usually attend any events due to lack of time, surely accepted the invitation to have the opportunity to see the entire 45m show for the first time, and at the same time taste the best Spanish food. He sat in the chair directly across from the main living room movie screen and saved a spot for me next to him.
Among the guests I also met again with characters from the past with whom I had had a story to tell and remember, such as Superman producer Ilia Zalkin who apologized for what happened the night he invited me to dinner and from which Ryan saved me. , my first jewish love. Daniel, another Jewish love, this time secret, from Madonna's office, Maverick, who was watching me all the time, avoiding Paul's jealousy, but who finally found the moment to invite me the next day to dinner on his moored yacht in Marina del Rey. That is what it to be the protagonist of the party, that everyone wants to invite you out ...
Mr. Inocencio Arias this time with a blue polka dot bow tie and taking me by the arm, led me to the center of the room, and left me alone in the face of danger, it was time to give my speech, a small speech that I had not prepared and that by toasting my friend María , who was not among us but thanks to her and her bureaucratic help, I was receiving this tribute today ... when suddenly the Consul interrupted me, correcting me with his characteristic sense of humor, clarifying before the gaze of more than 100 guests, that María was not only my friend, but everyone's.
Invite the Director of Tourism and his husband to tour Los Angeles in a limousine next to Diego El Cigala, his favorite artist, and have him sit on the sofa in his living room caressing his Alsatian shepherd while the CD of Lagrimas Negras played and that he had dedicated himself to them, it was so amazing, something that would never happen to them even in dreams. So they took advantage of such an important day for me, and in gratitude they gave me great news, I couldn't believe it, it would be a great step in my career ...
Twenty minutes before the start of the show, PBS was already playing the demo of "Flamenco Dreams" every 5 minutes, which, seen on such a big cinema screen, looked like a movie, while its live presenter said; Don´t miss Esther Ponce´s inspiration of Rita Haywort´s Gilda, gathering the most accomplished artist of this genre…
I have to admit that I got nervous as if I was going to go on stage for real and I really enjoyed watching the guests pay attention to the screen and applaud at the same time as the audience. The new consul made me grow as an artist and grew my CV. That night closed one of the most exciting chapters of my life.
Preston came home alone, Paul was left saying goodbye to the guests and Sofía and I went to party to celebrate a well-deserved triumph from which it would take us a couple of days to recover.
It is very gratifying to have an idea like the experimental Flamenco in Valencia, carry it out and have managed to attract more than 20 foreign clients to Valencia in a short time and without marketing, who have passed through the Flamenco Art Center, and who have not only They learned a lot if not they have returned to their country with a better concept of Valencia.
His experience and approach to flamenco led by Esther Ponce will make you return without hesitation to the city of Turia.
Esther Ponce not only surrounds them with her passion and charisma from the first moment, her professionalism and a very long journey through different countries of the world where she has lived for long periods, she makes them fall in love.
You just have to read the dedications of all the foreigners who write in their precious notebook created for them and that are already adding more and more.
The foreigner is used to teaching flamenco very quickly and without discipline, anything goes, any shoe, any skirt, hanging out even parodying and even ridiculing flamenco.
From England, without a doubt the most special Experimental Flamenco we have had at the Flamenco Art Center in these two and a half years.
The Esther Ponce Stylized Flamenco Art Center has been open for two and a half years. El Ángel Every August 28, for Esther’s birthday, a new foreign student gives her a gift and the flamenco toast intensifies.
This year Esther thought that her Angel would be very busy due to the current pandemic situation and also that it would be a coincidence that another year happened.
But to Esther’s surprise it was like that and without doubt the most special flamenco toast for England.
After the experience of teaching classes with a mask? A private flamenco class for two hours without stopping, does Esther remember that when she and the student went out into the street they breathed for two seconds as if there were no tomorrow?According to Esther’s recent experience, with the mask you cannot see the total expression of the student, but the eyes also speak and flamenco is also expressed with the body.
With all the safety measures, the student disinfected her shoes, put hydroalcoholic gel on her hands, a temperature control was performed with a non-contact forehead thermometer and the student did not remove her mask during the two hours, only in the changing room that she only used to drink water.